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Welcome, privacy! Gibiru tries to break Google/government alliance

Published time: May 07, 2012 17:14
Edited time: May 07, 2012 21:14
Gibiru.com

Gibiru.com

If you don’t want your online activity picked apart and plucked by Internet entities and the government alike, the Web doesn’t offer all too many options. The developers at Gibiru are trying to change all of that.

While work-arounds and hacks can keep would-be spies from snooping on the Internet activity of others, novices aren’t left with many viable means of achieving anonymity on the Web. To remedy that, the Gibiru search engine exists to allow surfers to query anything — questionable or not — without risking the repercussions of having their privacy practically eliminated by Silicon Valley companies that are coming creepily close to being the Big Brother of the Web.

With the US House of Representatives recently passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, Congress is close to being in cahoots — officially — with the Internet’s biggest service providers. Should the legislation leave Capitol Hill and head to the White House, a veto from President Barack Obama is the only thing that will keep the federal government from going into the online activity of every American with seemingly no questions asked.

Even without CISPA being brought to Obama’s Oval Office desk just yet, Web surfers regularly submit activity logs over the Internet without even realizing it. Gibiru, however, has gone out of the way to make sure that that isn’t the case.

"Gibiru is what Google started out as over 10 years ago, the good old days," Steve Marshall, founder and CEO of Gibiru, explains in a press release.

On the website, the company explains the framework for its formula: “Gibiru provides the basic Google results most people are familiar with and love but when you search the web through Gibiru, the system does not use your IP address or cookie data when it returns the search results, providing you with a non personal private search experience.”

Gibiru operates like Google, essentially, by eliminating the key components that put personal privacy at risk when surfing through the more well-known search engine. On their website, Gibiru is explained as a way to conduct web searches that are both uncensored and under wraps. That is, by modifying Google’s search algorithm, Gibiru not only eliminates the cookie trackers that Google installs on its users’ computers, but also allows for customers to conduct queries without being subjected to the “personalization” that Google insists on.

"If I am searching for something, it could just be that I don’t know what or where it is, so, why would you personalize my results? Just let me search in peace,” Marshall pleads.

Earlier this year, Gibiru reached a major milestone — as of February 2, the search engine was experiencing an average of 10,000 queries each day. Explaining the news, however, its developers were unable to offer any more details — that’s because they keep very limited track of what goes on with its users.

Instead Gibiru offers an alternative to searching, but it doesn’t stop just there. Also on their site, the webmasters make a point of introducing their customers to articles on current events that might not make the cut when it comes to Google’s own news service.

“Recently, the NSA has had major publishers remove Alternative News sites from search results,” reads one page on the Gibiru website. “Unfortunately, the government , major publishers and search engines are [forced] to work closely to chill Internet discourse. America Online, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are slowly turning the Internet into an information superhighway dominated by barricades, toll booths, off-ramps that lead to dead ends and track you everywhere. This censorship is accomplished by geo-location filtering: the restriction or modifying of Web content based on the geographical region of the user. In addition to countries, such filtering can now be implemented for states, cities, and even individual IP addresses.”

Speaking of why he went ahead with the development of Gibiru, Marshall makes his case by condemning the competition. "I simply got tired of seeing only what Google thought I wanted to see, and it continues to get worse,"he says. "What’s more, is that Google is capitalizing on its patron's privacy rights by compiling their search behavior via cookies and selling it off to advertisers and government entities for profiling.”

“It is a form of military-grade marketing and that is just how the cookies crumble,” Marshall adds.